Archive for February, 2013

I wrote today’s post (including one of my favorite photos on the entire internet) entirely on my new laptop and YES IT KILLED ME.  Wah wah, poor me, I have a brand new machine and I wasn’t born knowing how to use it, and I had to trim my fingernails so I would stop skidding around on the keyboard so much.  Question:  why has there been no legislation to  mandate a flashing red “UNDO” button on all computer programs, or whatever you young parsons call them?

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If I’m lucky, you won’t be able to tell I wrote this in my sleep.

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with Steven Seagal running like a girl!

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Music reccomendations?

A mom I know is looking for music to put on her 12-year-old son’s new mp3 player.  She says,

Looking for something reasonably wholesome, of course, but not scrupulously so. He’s 12, but a very young 12.

He is too old for little kids songs like Rafi, but I’m hesitant to introduce him to even good rock music. I’m not really looking for stuff like “Christian rock”–music designed for teenagers who love rock but whose parents won’t let them listen to it.

All we can think of is Roger Miller, the Beatles, and the Kingston Trio.

I suggested Paul Simon’s Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints, and Mumford and Sons.  I was kinda into folk rock in college (The Nealds, The Indigo Girls, etc.) but most if it is just too girly.  Buddy Holly?

(If you please, I’d rather not get into whether or not mothers should let their kids get into rock music!)   Oh, and if you have suggestions for bands or singers, could you write a line or two describing them?  Thanks!

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Over!! The!!! Edge!!!!!!

I can’t tell you how delighted I am to announce that my husband’s new job includes his very own weekly newspaper column!  Some of his favorites will be reprinted on his blog.  Today, you can find out why I married him:   because no other man can write about The Ratpocalypse quite like this.


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Praying like the devil

Friggin lent.

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Here we are.

Not where I thought we would be!

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. . . but yesterday I wrote this post about how, sometimes, your efforts are actually an obstacle to spiritual progress, and you just have to step aside and let the Holy Spirit work.  And then, just a few hours later, I read this passage from C. S. Lewis’ Perelandra.

(Ransom, on an unfallen planet with an unfallen Lady, has been doing battle with his nemesis, and has just made the horrible realization that, if “the Un-Man” is the representative of Hell, then he himself must be the representative of Heaven.)

‘Oh, but this is nonsense,’ said the voluble self. He, Ransom, with his ridiculous piebald body and his ten times defeated arguments – what sort of a miracle was that? His mind darted hopefully down a side-alley that seemed to promise escape. Very well then. He had been brought here miraculously. He was in God’s hands. As long as he did his best – and he had done his best – God would see to the final issue. He had not succeeded. But he had done his best. No one could do more. “‘Tis not in mortals to command success.’ He must not be worried about the final result. Maleldil would see to that. And Maleldil would bring him safe back to Earth after his very real, though unsuccessful, efforts. Probably Maleldil’s real intention was that he should publish to the human race the truths he had learned on the planet Venus. As for the fate of Venus, that could not really rest upon his shoulders. It was in God’s hands. One must be content to leave it there. One must have Faith ….

It snapped like a violin string. Not one rag of all this evasion was left. Relentlessly, unmistakably, the Darkness pressed down upon him the knowledge that this picture of the situation was utterly false. His journey to Perelandra was not a moral exercise, nor a sham fight. If the issue lay in Maleldil’s hands, Ransom and the Lady were those hands. The fate of a world really depended on how they behaved in the next few hours.

The thing was irreducibly, nakedly real. They could, if they chose, decline to save the innocence of this new race, and if they declined its innocence would not be saved. It rested with no other creature in all time or all space. This he saw clearly, though as yet he had no inkling of what he could do.

The voluble self protested, wildly, swiftly, like the propeller of a ship racing when it is out of the water. The imprudence, the unfairness, the absurdity of it! Did Maleldil want to lose worlds? What was the sense of so arranging things that anything really important should finally and absolutely depend on such a man of straw as himself? And at that moment, far away ; on Earth, as he now could not help remembering, men were at war, and white-faced subalterns and freckled corporals who had but lately begun to shave, stood in horrible gaps or crawled forward in deadly darkness, awaking, like him, to the preposterous truth that all really depended on their actions; and far away in time Horatius stood on the bridge, and Constantine settled in his mind whether he would or would not embrace the new religion, and Eve herself stood looking upon the forbidden fruit and the Heaven of Heavens waited for her decision. He writhed and ground his teeth, but could not help seeing. Thus, and not otherwise, the world was made. Either something or nothing must depend on individual choices. And if something, who could set bounds to it? A stone may determine the course of a river. He was that stone at this horrible moment which had become the centre of the whole universe. The eldila of all worlds, the sinless organisms of everlasting, light, were silent in Deep Heaven to see what Elwin Ransom of Cambridge would do.

Oh, boy.  I think my 14-year-old is old enough to read at least the first two books of Lewis’ Space Trilogy.  In rereading Perelandra (which is book two), I’m amazed at how many of my ideas about what God is like, how grace works, how evil works, and what we are actually here for came from these books.

out of the silent planet


that hideous strength

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Q and A about the pope!

I don’t know if Dorian Speed of Convolare Designs ever gets tired of hearing how much her name sounds like a superhero name, but just in case she doesn’t:  one of her powers is building an excellent and useful website in the blink of an eye.

Her latest effort is Electing the Pope, where you can find answers to all your questions about the papacy and the upcoming papal election.  I have been assiduously avoiding the secular news coverage of this topic, because I finally stopped grinding my teeth at night and I don’t want to start during the day.  So I’m very happy to have a central clearinghouse with accurate and relevant information.

Electing the Pope is a collaborative effort with twenty (and growing) teachers, authors, and catechists.  It’s in an easy-to-read Q-and-A format, and will be very helpful for Catholics who need more information, or for any interested party who wants actual accurate information.

One great feature:  you can submit a question to be answered on the site.  Thank you, Dorian, for putting this together!

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In which I contrive a spiritual reason to complain about my stupid teeth.

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